We all remember the heartbreaking photos of pets being displaced by Hurricane Harvey. When I think back on it, this photo of a dog carrying his bag of food comes to my mind:
Photo Credit: ladyfreethinker.org
Living the beach life in Virginia Beach has its many perks. We are very blessed to be able to live and raise our families in such a beautiful Atlantic coastal community.
Unfortunately, the very real possibility of a hurricane striking Hampton Roads is our reality this time of year. I'm not trying to scare you. However, it's important that you're as prepared as one can be in this type of situation.
I'm sure you already have an evacuation plan, should the unfortunate event ever arise, as well as a human Hurricane Disaster Kit (and if you don't, get on it!)
It's important that you also have a plan and an emergency kit ready to go for all fur members of the family. This is the one time you don't want to leave your pet home when going out of town, folks.
I know that you aren't the pet parent that would ever do such a thing, but don't forget to remind everyone - please never leave your pets behind in a hurricane evacuation. It's cruel and unacceptable.
While you're waiting to hear more news regarding evacuation, be sure to keep an eye on pets and keep them inside for their safety. Don't let kitty out for a night on the town because you never know if they'll be back in time when you need to leave.
Put together a pet traveling bag stocked with the essentials whether you decide to stay and ride it out or it's time to hit the road.
What you'll need for your Pet Disaster Kit:
At least one week's worth of food for each pet
At least one week's worth of bottled water (approx 1 gallon per day for each pet), plus extra for hand washing and sanitation
Collapsible water & bowls (along with dish soap for cleaning)
Treats and dental chews
Toys (chewtoys & plush if your pet is comforted by them)
Cat tray & litter
Pet First Aid Kit
Medications (as much as your veteranarian will give you) & medical records
Pet bed & favorite blankets
Backup leash & harness
Recent printed photos of your pets (in case you get separated)
Ensure every pet in the family has a collar with updated contact info on the tags (& medical info if necessary). It your pet isn't already microchipped, now is the time to do it.
Making Evacuation Location Plans:
Have plans for where you will evacuate to. Be sure that whether you stay with friends, family, or at a hotel, that you go somewhere they are willing to accommodate your pet.
Pet friendly hotels (make sure you call first in case some do not participate or are booked):
Americas Best Value Inn
Clarion Inns & Suites
Comfort Inn & Suites
Extended Stay America
Holiday Inn/Holiday Inn Express
Red Roof Inn
Several Marriot hotels
UPDATED 9/12/18- There are pet friendly shelters currently opening in Norfolk, VA ahead of Hurricane Florence
I hope that none of us ever has to ever use our Pet Disaster Emergency Plans & Kits. Getting separated from one's furbaby in the time of disaster is tragic.
But if the time comes, be sure you're ready.
I know your pets will appreciate it.
Take care of yourselves,